CHENNAI: Jasprit Bumrah had his first training session with the Indian team since September in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. He is trying to come back after a stress fracture which ruled him out of action for three months. The pacer was detected with a minor stress fracture and spent time on the sidelines before resuming full practice towards the end of November.
After further tests at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, Bumrah was asked to join the Indian team for assessment and it is understood that with everything going well, the pacer is expected to be picked for the three T20Is against Sri Lanka to be played in the first week of January. Going forward, his workload will be monitored on a series by series basis, as stress fractures can recur if not given proper rest between matches.
While the Indian team wanted Bumrah to rest during the last edition of IPL, he ended up playing the entire season with a small niggle. With the World T20 lined up in October 2020, India are keen to put in place a workload management plan for Bumrah. If need be, he will be used sparingly. After the T20Is against Sri Lanka, Bumrah might be rested for the ODIs against Australia at home, as India are keen on having him during the tour of New Zealand, where they are scheduled to play five T2OIs, three ODIs and two World Test Championship matches.
“Since his nature of injury is very serious, proper care has to be taken of him going forward. Which is why he has been given enough rest because if we had rushed him, the risk element could have increased. Since the focus is on T20Is, he can be rested from ODIs going forward. But this decision will be taken on series by series basis,” reliable sources told this newspaper.
After the injury, Bumrah was sent to London to consult a specialist. Then he resumed physical exercises before gradually starting other cricket-related training. Though he has regained full fitness he is yet to feature in any domestic fixture.
Test regulars for A tour
The Indian team had another visitor in Visakhapatnam. Prithvi Shaw, who was sidelined for six months for failing a dope test, has returned to the domestic fold and scored a double century in the first round of Ranji Trophy. With Mumbai not playing this round, Shaw was asked to join the Indian team for fitness assessment.It is understood that the opener’s international comeback will happen in New Zealand. Though Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma will be India’s first-choice openers in New Zealand, Shaw is expected to be the No 3 and will head there as part of India A team in January.
Even though India is scheduled to play a three-day practice match before the Tests, the team management wants specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Agarwal to be part of the A side. Though there are talks of including Rishabh Pant in the India A side for the two unofficial Tests, it will come at the cost of him missing the last three T20Is and ODIs series in New Zealand. But there are thoughts that it would be beneficial for Pant.
Home pride at stake
All eyes will be on the West Indies batsmen, who have become a headache for the high-flying Indians, in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday...
Known to be at their best at home, Virat Kohli’s men stare at the prospect of losing a second straight ODI series loss in known confines. They lost to Australia 2-3 in March. Defeat on Wednesday will be a fifth straight setback on home soil in this format for Men in Blue.
Misfiring batting unit
India’s batting hasn’t fired as a unit in the matches under consideration. Other than making 358/9 against Australia in Mohali — in a match they lost — they haven’t crossed 300 in the last 5 ODIs at home. it’s up to the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube to show they have the consistency to back their talent.
Power & muscles
The West Indies rely heavily on batsmen. And they have a few who can take on the best on their day. In Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard they have some of the biggest hitters of the game. The likes of Shai Hope can complement that power with their ability to consolidate and rotate strike.
Pitch & conditions
Bowlers can expect a tough time at ACA-VDCA Stadium. Expected to be partly sunny with a max temperature of 280C. Slight chance of precipitation (25%).
India have lost four consecutive ODIs at home.
Before beating Afghanistan just prior to this series, West Indies’ previous ODI series win was five years ago against Bangladesh at home in 2014.